I find sanity and stability where I can and today it was here, at the table (small desk really) upstairs.

I’ve been having trouble with the center area of the butterfly background. Giving it some thought, I identified two problems:

  1. Leaving the area under the butterfly empty. Not going to work. The four sides, with no center to hold them together, wavered and wobbled out of shape and made stitching more pieces in quite difficult.
  2. Trying to piece in small patches to fill space around the edges of the butterfly. Also not working. Distracted from the design and was starting to look ugly. More pieces continually seemed needed, a vicious circle (see #1).

So I finally found some larger scraps of fabric and made a major patch for the center that would eliminate the little pieces and hold the sides together properly.

Now – how to get this centerpiece stitched in? Spiritcloth’s description of “tabling” came to mind. It’s appliqué using the table as a hard surface to stitch against.

I cleared everything off the small desk. Laid out the cloth and the centerpiece. Pinned. Removed the extraneous mini-patches. This helped stabilize the cloth and turned out to be the key to progress.

I’ve never stitched like this before, but it’s working quite well. It’s been a thrill to have a problem solved by this technique. And has helped stabilize my jittery mood as well. Bring it on – the election, the plague, early darkness, winter, missed thanksgivings…

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